On 7 May, the Indian Agriculture Ministry notified the relaxation of fumigation regulations for several countries. Yesterday, Afghanistan Ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay thanked the Indian government for relaxing the fumigation norms (until May 2023) for agricultural imports from the country.
Afghan traders had been asking this for some time, he said, adding that the relaxation will ease trade between New Delhi and Kabul. In a series of tweets, Mamundzay added that the move will also enable struggling Afghan farmers to export their products to a “reliable market”.
Relaxation of fumigation norms for agricultural imports is not new. The Government of India issued similar notifications almost every year between 2017 and 2021 and once in 2014.
Prior to the Taliban takeover last August, bilateral trade between India and Afghanistan had touched $1.5 billion in the financial year 2019-20. But sanctions from the West following the Taliban takeover, which coincided with severe drought, have since forced the Afghan economy into economic isolation.